Garðar Árnason

About Me

Garðar Árnason

I am a philosopher at the Institute of Ethics and History of Medicine at the University of Tübingen, and the managing director of the research group "Ethics of Genome Editing".

My research interests are in ethics (in particular moral status, responsibility, and free will), and medical ethics (including ethical issues in neuroscience and genetics, research ethics, and public health ethics).

I have a PhD in philosophy from the University of Toronto.



June 10, 2021

Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics
My article "The Moral Status of Cognitively Enhanced Monkeys and Other Novel Beings" has been published in the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics (volume 30, issue 3). It's available in open access here.

Abstract: The discussion about the moral status of novel beings tends to focus on artificial intelligence, robots, and other man-made systems. We should, however, also consider a likelier kind of novel beings: animals that are genetically modified to develop human-like cognitive capabilities. This paper focuses on the possibility of conferring human characteristics on nonhuman primates (NHPs) in the context of neuroscientific research. It first discusses the use of NHPs for neuroscientific research and then, second, describes recent developments that promise to revolutionize the field and how that may lead to NHPs attaining human-like cognitive capabilities. Third, an account of moral status is developed to ground the central claim, that making the NHP brain more human-like is unproblematic as long as the NHPs do not become persons. In conclusion, this paper discusses the implications for the moral status of cognitively enhanced NHPs, as well as the implications for other novel beings.

April 22, 2021

An abstract for my contribution "The Road to the Genetic Future of Humanity: The Problem of Consent in Germline Gene Editing Research" has been accepted for presentation at the annual conference of the German Academy for Medical Ethics: The future of humanity in healthcare (Jahrestagung 2021 der Akademie für Ethik in der Medizin Die Zukunft der Menschlichkeit im Gesundheitswesen) in Erlangen-Nürnberg (online), 22./23.-25. September 2021.

April 20, 2021

Today my website is online, at last!